“Anger has got a bad rep,” says Registered Psychotherapist Juliann Rasanagayam. “It’s actually a very functional emotion. … [But] the way we end up reacting to anger becomes inappropriate.”
Rasanagayam meets many clients who suffer from anger issues. In most cases, there are deeper forces at work.
“Anxiety and anger—they’re basically like cousins, they work with the same mechanism,” she says. ”Anger is the emotion that we see on the outside, but there’s usually underlying emotions.”
It’s easier to understand anger, Rasanagayam suggests, by recognizing that it’s an umbrella term. “So, you can define anger as irritation, frustration, blind rage, and everything in between.”
And because anger encompasses so many feelings, the way they experience anger differs from individual to individual.
“I always try to emphasize that there's never a one size fits all to managing your anger,” she says. “Every individual is unique, and therefore, everyone's anger style is unique.”
Luckily, by working with a professional, you can learn to better understand the sources of your anger, and begin learning to manage it.
“My role as your anger management therapist is to figure out, well, what is your style? What are your triggers? How do I get you to recognize those triggers and your styles,” says Rasanagayam.
“And then, based on the style ... we [find] the right tools specific to you.”